Final semester reflection and goals

How do we know when the pandemic will end? Will this be our new normal, as it affects everyone, yet we are getting more and more adapted to it than we were in the past. My new life in college has been a similar journey, although not as significant, dealing with problems and stress that stems from it is still impactful. The school year is almost over as I am entering the second semester and there were many challenges I faced including some personal issues financially but mostly academically. Additionally, having to live and adjust to a new environment with new faces can be stressful as though you are all alone. However, I felt that I started doing better over time by making plans and getting support from associates, wonderful staff, and professors from Geneseo.

The first and most important challenge that I faced was time management. In high school, I had support from teachers who would regularly spoon-feed me information and push me to be less lazy to do the required work. There was a lot of studying and homework that require a serious amount of time to complete in college. In the first few weeks, this was the issue as I started having more free time, and nobody would really say anything if I missed work, and I was treated more like a responsible adult. As a result, I did not do well in classes and I struggled with keeping track of time, completing assignments online. I bought a note-taking application for a few bucks on my electronic devices and a bulletin board with sticky notes to keep track of assignments. I would say I spent money in a good way like this.

One class that I struggled with time management was INTD 105 with Professor Arena. As mentioned, I had so much freedom and time, but my time management was not planned out properly in the first semester. I struggled especially with reading in this class, it was almost new to me. I passed high school with good grades, and there was almost no reading assignment that I needed to read in my own free time. The class is not difficult, but the reading and other assignments can be a little time-consuming if you do not have a solid strategy and time management. As a result, I lagged in reading and assignments, but Professor Arena engaged the whole class in reading and discussions, which improved my focus and retention in the classroom. This is probably my favorite part of the class because I am naturally introverted, and I could go on days without any social interaction. I subconsciously knew I still wanted this for my personal development, because it is outside my comfort zone. The classroom discussions allowed everyone to talk and share their thoughts, even if it was a simple chat or a full briefing. Also, I am sure others needed this as much as I did.

The second serious problem I had was with mental and physical health. Mental and physical health are interconnected, negative physical health can result in adverse mental health and vice versa. I had self-doubts over choosing to attend a college and sometimes felt it was worthless, and that I made a mistake, and this caused me to lose motivation to take care of my physical being. To combat this, I started sleeping more and playing games to distract myself from intrusive thoughts. I also started showing up to RIT for AFROTC physical training on time, and with the support from other cadets, I started to get in a regular routine out even though I had little to no motivation. But I kept showing up on time to classes like Heritage and Values and physical training to get in touch with other cadets to keep myself in control from losing motivation. As time went on, I slowly regained and recalibrated my mind that college is not a waste of time, but rather an opportunity cost.

Although I am still struggling a little with these problems, I try to have a positive attitude and do good. I see some good results from these issues, and they are not as good as I want them to be, I am still happy with how far I have come. My main goal for the finals is to allocate a reasonable amount of time to study and balance social and academic life. I want to get at least an eighty or above on all my final exams, which is the primary factor in deciding my overall GPA/performance.

First year of college progression

By knowing that I am almost approaching the 2nd semester of college is quite frightening and fast. The first semester has been an interesting learning experience with lots of ups and downs. Being put into a new environment with new faces you’ve never met before and knowing that you are alone can be stressful and challenging. I prepared myself mentally and constantly reminded myself of why I am here. However, I still faced challenges in classes and did not perform as well as I could have, regarding having good grades and maintaining a healthy mind and body. The most challenging part so far is time management and understanding the priorities. In the first few weeks, I thought Geneseo was a big place, but as time went on, I felt as if it shrunk in size because I was becoming more familiar with the place. As a result, most classes on the campus were small, and I noticed that I performed better in these rooms compared to large rooms.

Most classes like Theatre Therapy for Veterans, Microeconomics, First Year Seminar, and Heritage and Values (ROTC) were easier to understand, and I felt more comfortable asking for help. I believe it is because the students were closer to professors in a way that they have something in common or something they can both relate to, and the fact that being in a small classroom brings people together. On the other hand, I did not do well in lecture halls with over 80 students, including intro to Business and understanding music classes. These classes were not particularly harder than the classes I did well in, I just did not have the right mindset and motivation to learn from a large class where the professor would not even notice if I showed up. However, I am still maintaining all passing grades for these classes, and I am working on getting a better and more flexible schedule. I have been working on finding the right ways to study, keeping a flexible schedule, and doing a lot of physical training to keep myself healthy and do good in classes.

The most important goal I have right now is to keep all my grades above A, and I believe it is possible if I keep up the work and consistency throughout the semester. The first few weeks of college have been challenging and not as sweet and easy as I imagined before coming here. I have many problems from in and out of school to fix, and the only way I can do it is to keep myself healthy. Similar to the domino effect, I believe small changes can lead to a bigger impact. These small changes include waking up early, talking to professors in large classrooms, and having a positive outlook can surely help me do better the next semester.

About me

Hello there! I am Mung Dan La, Maran. Most people call me Maran or Dan, and I am okay with both. I am from Buffalo, NY. 2021 is my freshman year at SUNY Geneseo, I’m happy to be here. I was in a graduating class of 2020 in high school, and it was when the COVID-19 first started spreading. My senior year went by fast, I felt like I did not have much time to enjoy being a senior in high school and missed all the fun with friends due to the virus. Because of this, I am trying to start new at college, have fun and work hard. I will be pursuing an accounting major, I am interested in computer programming and anything that has to do with numbers and logic. Not that I’m good with math, but I am looking forward to working with people who have the same interests as me and forming lasting friendships even after college.

I chose SUNY Geneseo to attend because it’s not too far away from home, and it has a joint ROTC program with RIT. I just started Geneseo, and it has been great so far. I think Geneseo has amazing campuses, beautiful hills, and sunsets you can watch when it comes to its geography. Geneseo is a beautiful place, and it even reminds me of the Christian summer camp I went to in 2015-2016. I used to think that Geneseo would be a lot more different from a high school. But Small classrooms, and professors still create a sense of a friendliness and welcoming environment that we all feel comfortable enough to learn, express our feelings and grow. Overall, I’m glad to be here, knowing that I made the right decision for the next step in my career.